Achieving a business’s mission and vision depends a great deal on developing solid and long-lasting relationships with their vendors. Adopting the best practices for managing suppliers will allow a company to forge a strong relation, leading to a mutually beneficial agreement for both sides.
The vendor network can consist of one supplier or thousands, but an efficient vendor management system must facilitate a seamless process. Communication, onboarding, vendor contracts, compliance, and risk mitigation are just some of the factors buyers need to evaluate before deciding on a system.
Any policy within vendor management is structured and crafted to elicit a win-win scenario across both sides. Through effective management, a business can reap multiple benefits of a streamlined vendor management process.
Vendor management is being brought back to the forefront of many company’s agendas due to the current state of the market. Companies operate today with vendor participants scattered across the entire world, which COVID-19 impacted drastically. The companies who could navigate these troubled waters had a nimble vendor management system that withstood a pandemic’s impacts and provided a robust solution. Distance can no longer be an excuse for lack of efficient communication and real-time access to vendors.
What is Vendor Management?
Vendor or supplier management is a business discipline that enables companies to manage costs, drive operational excellence and mitigate execution to gain increased value from their vendors.
Why is Effective Vendor Management Important?
The pitfalls of not effectively managing one’s vendors are stark and can severally impact a company’s bottom line. Due to geopolitical issues and changing customer changes, companies need to pivot their strategy fast. Having an agile vendor partnership or process is essential for a company to break formation and adapt to a new plan. A non-effective strategy inhibits the company’s ability to rate and score its vendors across different parameters such as performance, compliance, execution, etc. A streamlined process is essential for success in today’s business environment.
How to Avoid Vendor Management Mistakes
Onboarding new vendors or diversifying the supplier network is always exciting and brings new potential. However, having a system that manages this network is the catalyst determining overall success.
We at Suuchi work with hundreds of companies helping them configure an effective vendor management strategy. Below are the tips we share with our customers who are ready for improved supply chain collaboration:
- The Right Purchase: There are thousands of PLM and ERP systems out there that offer specialized functionality. The critical part of this sea of options is that companies need to identify a configurable solution for their vendors and suppliers. They need a system that is easy to use for someone on a factory level and offers quick and straightforward onboarding.
- YES for all: Vendor management is one of the broadest disciplines of a business. Evaluating a system for this disciple needs to consider all of the opinions and users across the value chain. Many tools are not geared or designed for people on the supplier side who also possess a diverse skillset.
- Nimble and Intuitive: Having your vendors onboarded is easier said than done. Getting them to buy into the value for changing their existing process needs two current conditions. The first is a new system needs to be easy to learn and implement, so anyone from the factory floor through to the head of a team can use it with ease. The second point is that a new system needs to have a simple UI. This way, all of the data can be accessed and understood simply. Having an easy system to understand will allow the early users of the system to train additional users quickly.
- Visibility, Sustainability, and Ethics: Consumers now more than ever feel more responsible and connected with their purchase decisions. People want to know where production happened, the materials used, and if the purchase impacts factors such as climate change, geopolitical loyalties, their values, and more. Having a system that provides full transparency in the supply chain across vendors to customers is a must for the modern 21st-century company.
- Vendor Tools: Companies don’t have a say in which tools of communication their vendors use. Most likely, vendors only use email, texts, Excel, WhatsApp, and WeChat. Companies have started to realize to drive higher transparency switching across these single-use tools is hampering efficiency and reducing visibility. Companies that invest in a system that creates end-to-end communication opportunities or integrates with these existing collaboration apps allow for more robust efficiency and accountability.
The business landscape has changed, and to thrive in these waters, companies need to build transparency with all stakeholders by creating a single source of truth. Having this visibility directly impacts firms to cut costs and time spent on supplier management and compliance. Companies now more than ever need a system to onboard, evaluate, and stay on top of their vendors, as they also are one of the most critical stakeholders across the value chain.
Anuj Mehta brings a fresh perspective to the Suuchi Inc. Marketing team. He works as a Business Development specialists to help businesses digitize their supply chains through next-gen technology. Learn more about Anuj,